You know those times when you get an idea or set a goal for yourself (example: new year’s resolution) and then a week later you stop doing it, or worse…forget about it? This isn’t going to be one of those times for me. Unlike my running schedule, I am very committed to this new goal I have set for myself. That being said, technically accomplishing the goal is not my main focus, but rather experiencing the reason for the goal. With the news that Lane Goodwin, a 13 year-old boy from Kentucky battling a rare form of cancer, passed away a few days ago, it got me thinking about prayer. Everyone was talking about praying for Lane and his family and I just kept thinking how disappointed I was in my self. Why, you ask?
Allow me to explain: I have this tendency to tell others that I am going to be praying for them, like it’s some kind of phrase I just say, but don’t always do. I’m guilty of this 80% of the time (i’ll give myself a little credit, here). And I promise I don’t just say I’m going to pray for someone to make myself look better; that is never my intention. I really do believe in the power of prayer. So it isn’t right for me tell say I’m going to pray for someone or something and then not do it. Here’s my solution: a prayer journal.
Corny? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
From now on, I have no excuse for my lack of prayers for others. The Lord has really placed it on my heart to focus on my prayer life right now and to get out of my lazy habit of talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I want to encourage you to do the same.
Here’s my challenge to you: buy a journal, small enough to fit in your purse or backpack or fanny pack (yeah, some people still use those) and make note of the times someone asks you to pray for them or even if you notice a situation that needs prayer. Then, when you go to have your quiet time, read through the journal and pray the prayer requests you have written down. I promise that it will strengthen your prayer life more than you could ever imagine. It’s incredible to see how your attitude changes, too. It has for me.
One last thing I want to leave you with: don’t be afraid to pray for big things. Our God is bigger than ANY of our prayers. He is bigger than ANY of our problems. He loves us and yearns for a relationship with us (conversation!). He wants us to bring all of our burdens to him and lift them up to him. Think about it this way, Jesus prayed…he prayed a LOT. What better example do we have, then from the one who saved our souls?
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. –James 5:16
Amen to that!